Visualizaton of a Geodynamo simulation
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Earth’s magnetic field undergoes striking variations in direction and strength on a vast spectrum of time scales. Complex motions of the liquid iron core maintain the magnetic field, but the inner workings of this so-called dynamo process are obscured from direct observation and pose significant challenges for theoretical and computational modeling. This study aims to simulate the dynamo and determine which parameters can be associated with common features that are observed in the incomplete geological record of the magnetic field. The simulation produces an output comprised of magnetic field, the fluid flow, and temperature in the Earth’s core. Visualization results based on the output data are compared with observations projected down to the core surface, and to link those features with model behavior deep within the core. The visualization aspect of this study is enabling the scientists to identify interesting physical phenomena in the models that may be related to observation, including fluid up and down welling throughout the liquid core.